Here's our weekly Q&A with the SB Nation Bears blog, Windy City Gridiron. Editor Dane Noble sheds some light on why the Bears OLine is so bad and some adjustments Martz has to make to help Cutler out (though it sounds like the Redskins will still tee off).
Hogs Haven: I saw your Bears article on how your Tackles are unable to pick up corner blitzes & stunt...and probably won't be able to anytime soon. What do the Bears need to do to remedy this? Does this mean less chances for Matt Forte dink and dunks?
Dan: The OL as an entire unit has been terrible this season... I would definitely not shine the spotlight only on the tackles. The last couple of games has seen a lot of edge-rush success for our opponents, but the pressure has also come up the middle as well. What do we need to do to remedy it? I'm not certain it can be remedied at this point. There very well may be a sense of just doing enough to survive the game...one week at a time. The first three games of the season, we saw OC Mike Martz and OL coach Mike Tice make in-game adjustments that relieved the ineptitude from our OL (misdirections, traps, pulls, 1-step drops, screens, etc). When we went to the Meadowlands and faced the Giants, those adjustments failed to work, as did the adjustments when we lost to the Seahawks. Hopefully, Tice and Martz are getting it together. Cutler can't keep getting mauled like he has been so far in 2010.
The right side of your OLine consists of a 7th round draft pick and former Redskins UFA Edwin Williams. Does Greg Olsen have to stay in almost full-time now or is there someone else that chips consistently? Also, Martz's offense has always been a 5 and 7 foot drop for the QB...will they change it to a 3?
The Bears have Olsen, as well as high-priced blocking TE Brandon Manumaleuna. Manumaleuna has struggled this season, and Olsen is not known as a blocker, which has also raised a lot of questions about the lack of playing time for TE Desmond Clark. Clark is by far our best blocker, and can also be a receiving threat, but has been inactive for most of the season. The coaching staff says that it's because we have another TE, Kellen Davis, that contributes on STs, while Dez does not. Definitely confusing.
As for the 5 and 7-step drops, yes, we should see a lot more 3- and 1- step drops this weekend. After the beating that our QBs have been taking, I don't see that we even have a choice. Additionally, earlier in the season, we did see a lot of 3- and 1-step drops, and it was very effective, so hopefully we get back to that this week.
The Skins got shredded by the no-huddle offense, how capable is Jay Cutler and Mike Martz in running this so far this year?
The Martzfense hasn't really unleashed any no-huddle this season. We just don't have the cohesion on the OL to try and make anything like that work.
What is the breakdown for why Cutler has not converted any of his last 22 third down conversions?
It's a shame when, the 2 or 3 times that Cutler has time to set his feet and actually throw the football, he gets happy feet because he is expecting doom at any moment. That is indicative of a lack of trust between Cutler and his OL, despite what is said to the members of the media that they all trust each other. 3rd down failures are one of the biggest issues for the year...check out the numbers here.
Are fans regretting the Cutler trade or is there still optimism there? (your 4-2 start reminds me a LOT of our 6-2 start 2 years ago where teams figured us out and pummeled us).
Of course we don't regret the trade. Cutler has all of the skills and intelligence to be an elite QB in the league, but behind our OL, he's barely got a chance. GM Jerry Angelo made a huge investment in Cutler, but has done nothing to protect that investment. We've got all of the other positions on offense covered: a solid WR corp, talented TE, a good RB duo, and a great QB. But, they can't do a damn thing when the big fellas up front get driven straight backwards on every snap of the football.
Yep, that sounds a lot like the 2009 Redskins....well, except for the solid RB.